Charlie McCorkell was going to Washington to fight for cyclists safety long before there was a National Bike Summit. He was painting his own bike lanes and taking matters into his own hands.
You may know Charlie as the jovial owner of one of the most established bike shops in NYC, Bicycle Habitat, but perhaps you don’t know about his early D.I.Y. activist roots, back in the early 80 ‘s and before things like Time’s Up, Transportation Alternatives and a cycling friendly Department of Transportation.
Charlie and Bicycle Habitat put out a monthly email and I always find it interesting what he has to say:
I’m proud of the progress that has been made in recent years by the people of New York to make our streets safer and more open to bikes. As we strive for Vision Zero, there is constant work to be done, and we are the ones to do it.
-If you live and ride in Manhattan, join me tomorrow (Thursday) at NYU (32 Waverly Place) to advocate for updating the Lafayette Street bike lane. One of the first “good” bike lanes in the city, it is now in its 25th year and long overdue for a makeover.
Nationally, for the past 13 years, March has meant a trip to DC to join cyclists at the National Bike Summit. We meet with NY members of Congress and lobby for funds for cycling. This year, I will be absent, but I know I can rest easy, as eleven New York woman made the 283-mile trek by bike from NYC to DC last week to take up the charge of lobbying. They will make sure the NYC voice is heard and emphasize the role of women in cycling.
While the need for bike-friendly streets is obvious to us, nearly every bike project in the city is met with opposition from a very vocal minority. I ask you to join us and voice your support for progress. If you can’t make the meetings, write your government reps, tweet at Mayor de Blasio, volunteer for Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) — there are plenty of ways to take action.
Owner, Bicycle Habitat
And for a limited time, Bicycle Habitat is having a big sale. In their Manhattan location.
Friday the 13th of March is pre-registration and gold sprints.
Monster Track 15 Pre-Registration // Goldsprints // Karaoke Party
Good Luck Karaoke
Bands: Shift Pay & Outta Gas
Time: March 13, 2014 at 7pm to March 14, 2014 at 4am
Street: 790 Metropolitan
City/Town: Brooklyn, New York 11211
Website or Map: RSVP on Facebook
Event Type: goldsprints
New York City has always had style and those fashion trends are best observed on the streets. Just ask the Godfather of street fashion documentation, 85 year old NY Times photographer Bill Cunningham. He spent a lifetime cruising around on bicycle learning you don’t go to the runways of Paris or Milan, but the sidewalks of Broadway and other streets where the vogue types go to be seen.
The bicycle community is no exception. Always ahead of the curb (pun intended) Messenger bags, rolled up pant legs and office attire made to commute in.
Photographer Sam Polcer, knows what’s up. He’s got a new book coming out which has captured the bike style NYC.
To celebrate the book launch, there will be a get together at Redbeard Bikes in DUMBO.
More details from Sam:
NEW YORK BIKE STYLE
Friday, April 4th
at Redbeard Bikes
69 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY
with music by James Mulry
complimentary beer from Sixpoint
and a bike light giveaway by Bike New York
RSVP to the event on FFacebook to stay updated on the party and invite friends (this’ll also help me make sure we have enough beer).
I’ll be selling copies of New York Bike Style at the launch, but it’s also available for pre-order on Amazon here, and will be on sale at bookshops and online retailers like Barnes and Noble around the official release date, which is April 1st.
Washington DC-The Ladies of the #webiketoDC coalition made it to the National Bike Summit, despite Arctic Vortexes and snowy weather.
More about their journey from Streetsblog USA:
The Freezing NYC-DC Bike Ride to Support Women in Cycling
By: Angie Schmitt
March 3rd, 2014
The 2014 National Bike Summit is underway in our nation’s capital, starting with the Women’s Bicycling Forum, with its focus on expanding the share of women on two wheels. You can follow along on Twitter at #womenbike. In 2009, according to the League of American Bicyclists, women accounted for just 24 percent of bike trips in the country.
A team of 11 women made the journey to the Summit in DC from New York City by bike, working their way 262 miles through some of the East Coast’s major metropolises. Among the participating groups were We Bike NYC, Gearing-Up, Black Women Bike DC, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, and the Philadelphia Bike Coalition. They call their pilgrammage We Bike to DC.
And here is more about the 3rd annual Woman’s Forum that preluded the Bike Summit.
Women’s Bicycling Forum Confronts Obstacles to Getting More Women Riding.
By: Tanya Synder NOW President Terry O’Neill told the Women’s Forum that they need to put women — not bicycles — at the center of their analysis. Photo: Brian Palmer
This year marks the third time a Women’s Bicycling Forum has preceded the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, and, despite weather emergencies and an epidemic of flight cancellations, this is by far the best-attended one yet.
Despite impressive momentum, the movement to get more women on bikes faces many obstacles. Yesterday, National Organization of Women President Terry O’Neill laid out some barriers to women’s cycling that don’t often make it into the conversation. When bike advocates focus on safe infrastructure, group rides, and kitten-heel-friendly bike fashion to lure women, O’Neill says they might be missing some important points.
And coverage by Jonathan Maus at Bikeportland.org:
USDOT Sec. Foxx Focuses on Safety, Politics and Economics at Summit Speech
By: Jonathan Maus
March 4th, 2014
photo of USDOT secretary Anthony Foxx at 2014 National Bike Summit-by Jonathan Maus/Bikeportland.org
—BikePortland’s coverage from Washington D.C. is made possible by Planet Bike.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made his National Bike Summit debut today. The man that used to hold his job, Ray LaHood, was a crowd favorite for many years and had endeared himself with advocates for hispro-bike proclamations (sometimes delivered via tabletop).
Sec. Foxx was well aware of LaHood’s legacy and began his speech today by saying, “I have big shoes to fill.” Looking to bolster his cycling cred, Foxx showed a photo of himself riding one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s bikeshare bikes. Foxx oversaw the launch of bike share during his time as mayor of Charlotte.
Got to give a huge shout out to Boombotix, the ultra-portable speaker company who just hooked me up with their latest gem-The Boombot Rex.
Although there are a lot of portable speakers now on the market, Boombotix has always been ahead of the curb, specifically designing on-the-go sound for the active lifestyle. Their latest model, the Rex, is a testament to some real in the field testing and has some great features, ideal for commuting on bicycle.
A few years ago they sent me their BoomBot 1 skull speaker which operated with a mini cable that plugged into your favorite MP3 player or smart phone…you know back in the day when they had these things called iPods.
(I know, I got a thing for Green)
Besides it’s cute design, this little skull is durable and loud, comparable to other portable speakers but half the price.
However, being tethered to a wire can be a pain, especially on a bicycle.
Now it’s Boombotix 2.0 with no need for messy wires hanging off you. Bluetooth is the name of the game, wireless and forget about it.
Here are some great features that really work for me from this latest model.
•wireless-running through bluetooth the speaker easily hooks up to any enabled device. It has a limit to the range, but plenty of distance for everyday usage.
•Loud, and good quality sound. Especially in a noise polluted city like NYC this little baby pumps the sound. This is now my new go anywhere speaker. From a podcast in the morning, or live radio station, YouTube video or streamed site like spotify, mix cloud and soundcloud. Just turn it on and hear the signature recoded: “BoomBot” and your good to go.
•Durable, water resistant and a built on mounting clip which keeps the unit in place on your person or bag. There’s also a handle bar mount, sold separately.
•Easily rechargeable. Plug it into a USB port on a computer or smart phone AC charger. It connects with mini USB and includes a cable.
•Daisy chain. This is a great feature and adds to the versatility. The speaker has mini jack In and Out so you can link multiple boom bots with bluetooth or cable. It’s nice to see consumer technology that allows you to use older speakers instead of the proprietary nature where you feel you have to throw things away. Now my old Boombot 1 can be used in conjunction with the Rex. So I can be a roaming sound system with even more Boom.
Now I know riding with external sound is a acquired taste, but if that’s your flavor this is the speaker I recommend.
It’s hard to be bias with your given a freebie, but I would have easily paid the $119.00 for the Rex.
for this convention hosted by the League of American Cyclists.
You can follow along on twitter, #NBS2014
To address gender equality in the bicycle world, there will also be the 2nd annual Woman’s Bike Forum held within the summit.
10 woman from various cycling advocacy groups, including our own, WeBikeNYC have embarked on a ride to DC.
“WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. WE Bike NYC is a group based in New York City open to all women, female identifying, and gender nonconforming people who enjoy biking or think they might. WE Bike NYC aims to break down barriers to cycling by offering social rides, training rides, mechanics workshops and ride scholarships.
Judging by some of the photos coming in from this group: (photo by: Nelle Pierson/Facebook)
This impromptu cyclocross from Day one in New Jersey makes me think, regardless of gender, infrastructure for cyclists should be an agenda item at the bike summit.
I definitely applaud these ladies dedication.
Here is a more info about the ride to DC and the summit form Bike Delaware.
Thoughts turn to D.C. and the National Bike Summit
By: Jonathan Maus
February 27th, 2014
It’s that time of the year once again when hundreds of advocates, activists and bike lovers of all stripes converge on Washington D.C. for the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. I’ll be attending again this year (my eighth time!), so stay tuned next week for various reports, musings, photos, and so on.
Once again, the agenda for the event is jam-packed. I’ll arrive on Sunday night (3/2) for some pre-Summit fun. Our friends at Streetsblog and Streetfilms (in tandem with the League) are hosting a “Media Training for Bicycle Advocates.” The event (details here) is aimed at making professional advocates better at PR and media relations and it’ll feature some super-smart folks from the news business and the advocacy-journalism sphere.
My Man Steve Issacs from LA’s Sweetride just got a 8 page spread in the latest Bicycling Magazine.
Featuring the lovely Nona Varnado who tragically left us for that sunny West Coast city.
Read more from the Sweet Ride Blog:
Check out Sweet Ride USA in Bicycling Magazine!
Holy moly, this is amazing. Right now on newsstands all across the country, you can pick up the current issue of Bicycling Magazine and read about Sweet Ride USA in a whopping 8-page spread.
Editor-at-large Bill Strickland hit us up last year about being featured in the magazine, and it’s finally an actual real-life thing. The piece documents the filming of our just-released Episode 3, as we pedaled through Los Angeles on the search for bicycle-churned ice cream at Peddler’s Creamery and Double Decker O-Nuts at DK’s Donuts.
Electric bicycles and electric assist bicycles are apparently banned in New York City but you’d never know it by the amount of them whipping by you on the sidewalk with a rush order of hot wings.
I know New Yorkers feel threatened by these vehicles, who seem to want their cake and eat it too…literally. They want instant food delivery to their doorstep and somehow want it to be courteous and unencumbered in the fastest paced city in America, where everyone in multitasking on their smart phone. The geniuses from Stanford are constantly coming up with ways to streamline delivery with apps like Seamless and Grubhub and until Spock develops the teleporter…the food has to get there by human beings.
Sure. I’m annoyed by these pseudo scooters zipping by at 30mph the wrong way in the bike lane-giving us urban riders a bad name. Their bad biking behavior comes down to operator control or common sense street rules such as don’t ride on the sidewalk, unless no one is around…no matter how badly your tip will reflect by forgetting the free soda or the dumplings.
But banned? I think e-bikes are a better alternative than carbon polluting motorcycles or scooters. They also have reduced bike theft since food delivery used to be the number one recipient of your recently stolen beater.
And what about those people who just like a little help pedaling on their commute and occasionally want to kick in the motor? New riders who want an electric assist bike to encourage them to ride more?
Like most things in NYC, I think there’s a place for it, like a wholesale area or a Red Light district, where things can be regulated by the city. Why can’t these motorized bikes be registered as work vehicles, leaving out the e-assist bikes of newbie enthusiasts. Distinctions need to be made. Besides, if they’re banned-why are they still here?
Here is more about this legality delemna Tree Hugger.
E-bikes in NYC: How not to solve a problem
By: David Bergman
February 25th, 2014
In the past few years, under the auspices of former transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC has taken great strides in promoting “alternative” means of transportation. Bicycling is moving into the mainstream, courtesy of expanded bike lanes and Citibikes. Pedestrian safety is improving through street and intersection design improvements. Buses are actually becoming a viable means of getting around with the implementation of NYC’s version of
bus rapid transit, Select Bus Service.